The Uzbek government is planning to purchase new Russian fighter jets.
Citing a source, RIA Novosti reported on July 8 that the Uzbek government has informed Moscow of its intentions to purchase the Su-30SM fighter jet from the Russian defense industry. The aircraft – along with armaments, ground control equipment, and other related hardware – are to be acquired using a Russian export credit.
The report added that a formal request should be provided “soon.” Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation has confirmed Uzbekistan’s interest in the Su-30SM.
RIA Novosti did not indicate how many jets the Uzbek Air Force will ultimately acquire under the planned deal. Similarly, the armaments loadout for the aircraft has not been specified.
Uzbekistan’s northern neighbor, Kazakhstan, has procured several dozen Su-30SMs in a bid to modernize its Air Force. Under Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the Uzbek Air Force will follow suit. The aircraft, which is produced by Russia’s Irkut Corporation, was used extensively in Russia’s air campaign in Syria, where the Russian military is backing President Bashar al-Assad.